You are on page 1of 28

AL-QANÍARA XXVIII 2, julio-diciembre de 2007 pp.

489-516 ISSN 0211-3589

MUSLIM SLAVES AND FREEDMEN IN MEDIEVAL PORTUGAL * FRANÇOIS SOYER
University of Cambridge
The study of slavery in medieval Portugal has focused almost exclusively on the status and fate of the sub-Saharan Africans who started to arrive in the kingdom from 1441 onwards. The work of A. C. de C. M Saunders, A Social History of Black Slaves and Freedmen in Portugal 1441-1555 (Cambridge University Press, 1982) has been particularly important in this respect. In stark contrast to this, the fate of the substantial number of Muslim slaves who lived and worked in Portugal during the medieval period has to a large extent been overlooked. Using documentary evidence obtained from the national Portuguese archives, this article proposes to analyse in detail the origins of these slaves, their economic and social role and the laws that were promulgated to control them and their owners. The status of freedmen and manumission practices are also closely studied. Key words: Portugal; Slavery; Muslim Slaves; Manumission; Middle Ages; Mudéjars. El estudio de la esclavitud en el Portugal medieval ha sido dominado por estudios sobre los esclavos oriundos del África subsahariana que comenzaron a ser importados en aquel reino desde 1441. La obra de A. C. de C. M. Saunders, A Social History of Black Slaves and Freedmen in Portugal 1441-1555 (Cambridge University Press, 1982) ha sido particularmente importante a este respecto. En contraste con esta situación, se sabe relativamente poco de los esclavos musulmanes en el reino medieval de Portugal. Utilizando nuevas fuentes documentales del archivo nacional portugués, este artículo se propone examinar los orígenes de estos esclavos musulmanes y su posición económica y social en el Portugal del medievo, así como las leyes reales que fueron promulgadas para controlar a los esclavos y a sus dueños. La posición social de los libertos y las prácticas de manumisión serán también estudiadas. Palabras clave: Portugal; esclavitud; esclavos musulmanes; manumisión; Edad Media; mudéjares.

The study of slavery in the Iberian Peninsula has varied considerably both in terms of time and space. On balance, it is fair to say that far more interest has been devoted to black slaves, significant numbers of whom were transported into Portugal and Spain from sub-Saharan Africa from 1441 onwards into the modern era. 1 Research into slavery
* I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Dr. Maria Filomena Lopes de Barros of the University of Évora who has generously shared with me transcriptions of many of the documents referred to in this article. 1 Saunders, A. C. de C. M., A Social History of Black Slaves and Freedmen in Portugal 1441-1555, Cambridge, 1982; Russell-Wood, A. J. R., “Iberian expansion and the is-

490

FRANÇOIS SOYER

during the medieval period has been much more fragmentary and our knowledge of Muslim slaves in the kingdom of Portugal in particular continues to lag far behind that of Muslim slaves in the rest of the Iberian Peninsula. In his magisterial study of slavery in medieval Europe published in 1955, Charles Verlinden rapidly examined slavery in medieval Portugal using the available published sources. This work is now out of date and leaves much to be desired, particularly as Verlinden did not make use of the extant registers of the Portuguese royal chancery which are conserved in the national archives of the Torre do Tombo in Lisbon. 2 Recent modern works on medieval Portuguese society have examined the situation of Muslim slaves only very fleetingly. While it is true that a relative paucity of documentary sources is partly to blame, this lacuna cannot be solely ascribed to this factor. This article seeks to offer a concise examination of the status of Muslim slaves and freedmen in medieval Portugal from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries. By using a variety of unpublished documents conserved in the archives of the royal chancery and religious institutions, it will endeavour to produce an analysis that relies not so much on the well known normative law codes and municipal charters but rather on surviving pardons and manumission charters.

The Origins and Characteristics of Slavery in Medieval Portugal The first documentary traces of enslaved Muslims in the county of Portugal date from the turn of the ninth and tenth centuries. 3 It is with the creation of the kingdom of Portugal under King Afonso I (1139-1185), and the major military advances of the Portuguese during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, that a steady flow of references to Muslim captives start to appear in the available documentation. In 1147 Afonso I struck an agreement with the army of northern
sue of black slavery: changing Portuguese attitudes, 1444-1770”, The American Historical Review, 83 (1978), 16-42; for Spain see Franco Silva, A., La esclavitud en Sevilla y su tierra a fines de la Edad Media, Seville, 1979 and idem, Esclavitud en Andalucía 1450-1550, Granada, 1992. Verlinden, C., L’Esclavage dans l’Europe médiévale tome premier: péninsule Ibérique-France, Bruges, 1955. 2 Verlinden, L’Esclavage dans l’Europe médiévale, 615-632. 3 Vasconcellos, J. L. de, Etnografia portuguesa, Lisbon, 1958, 4, 300-1.

Al-Qan÷ara (AQ) XXVIII 2, julio-diciembre 2007, pp. 489-516 ISSN 0211-3589

they secured a new albeit irregular source of Muslim slaves. Pedro”. S. but the pattern that emerges from the documentary evidence presents slave ownership as a small-scale phenomenon.MUSLIM SLAVES AND FREEDMEN IN MEDIEVAL PORTUGAL 491 European crusaders to buy back any prisoners captured after the fall of Lisbon. da Carvallo Homem (eds. footnote 9. Paris. livro 5. 309-323. Vol. Lisbon. Al-Qan÷ara (AQ) XXVIII 2. the widow Maria Afonso left her daughter and son-in-law all of her lands and property including all her Muslim slaves. Nova história de Portugal. who were sold as slaves in Lisbon. Lisbon. including attacks on Muslim coastal shipping. in M. João de Pendroada in 1156 included a Muslim man and a Muslim woman. a private bequest made to the monastery of S. Boissellier.).. 7 The data can hardly be described as either plentiful or detailed. 2. pp. one individual might own a single slave or small groups of Muslims that rarely extended beyond ten. Les campagnes portugaises entre Douro et Tage aux XIIe et XIIIe siècles. Accordingly. julio-diciembre 2007. C. 6 Durand.. for instance. see Eannes de Zurara. The same fate befell the 3000 Muslim inhabitants captured after the fall of Alcácer do Sal in 1217. “Chronica do conde D. 1995. 6 In her will of May 1291. A. the will made by a canon of Coimbra and Guarda cathedrals named Pedro Pais in February 1295 granted “my Muslim Muçammad” to a certain Pedro Gonçalvez and “my Muslim woman Zofra (Z×fira?)” 4 De Expugnatione Lysbonensi. H. L. Inéditos da Hitória de Portugal. 485. The Portuguese “reconquest” came to an end with the conquest of the southern town of Faro in 1249 and. 8 Gomes. New York. 4 It must also be assumed that a fair number of Muslims also became prisoners in the raids and ambushes that alternated with uneasy truces on the Christian-Islamic border. 1982. da Cruz Coelho and A. for over a century and a half. 489-516 ISSN 0211-3589 . and transl.. 1999. Chancelaria de D. fols. S.). La vie rurale entre Tage et Guadiana de l’Islam à la Reconquête.. Portugal had no land border with an Islamic enemy. Dinis. R. G. 14-15. 2001. The Portuguese only opened a new front against a Muslim enemy with the capture in 1415 of the North African town of Ceuta by João I (1384-1433). 3: Portugal em definição de fronteiras do condado Portugalense à crise do século XIV. 111. 5 For many examples of such raids. 364. 5 In Portugal itself. Lisbon. 8 Likewise. David (ed. Naissance d’une identité portuguaise. Muslim slaves appear regularly in wills made during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. In general. W. 7 Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo (ANTT). As the Portuguese conquered other coastal towns and sent raiding parties into the Moroccan interior. “Grupos étnico-religiosos e estrangeiros: Muçulmanos”. 1792.

with “his bulls. et poblou o de bois e de vacas et de eguas et de seu ganado et de seus mouros et de seu aver”. 16-17 (1964). R. in idem. 13 ANTT. 227.. King Afonso I. “From prizes of war to domestic merchandise: the changing face of slavery in Catalonia and Aragon. 30. 11 In a predominantly rural society like medieval Portugal. 14 Similarly. Lisbon. este davandito Moesteiro fez el Rei don Alfonso I. however. 1000-1300”. including religious corporations. L. Cabido da Sé de Coimbra (2. 25 (1994). near Guimarães. livro 33. for instance.492 FRANÇOIS SOYER to Domingos Johannes and Catalina (Johannes’s wife?) in posthumous payment of a debt of 50 pounds. Women. G. 10 The activities of Muslim slaves were clearly not.ª incorporação). 73. 1250-1300. Chancelaria de D. 14 Barbosa. when Elvira Perez donated an estate to the abbey of Santa Cruz in Coimbra in 1267.. Estudos de História Medieval. include carpenters. pp. tailors and even a goldsmith. 12 Further south.. c. julio-diciembre 2007. “Os ‘mouros’ de entre Douro e Minho no século XIII”. Aldershot. séculos XII e XIII”. 13 In most of these cases. In most cases the documents refer to small groups of three or ANTT. fol. 10 9 Al-Qan÷ara (AQ) XXVIII 2. she specified that the grant included “all my Muslim men and women”. only limited to those of unskilled domestic servants. In the far north of Portugal — between the Minho and Douro rivers — it is possible to find a number of references to Muslim slaves working on the estates of their masters. many slaves were put to work in the fields and orchards of their owners. Les campagnes portugaises. Afonso V. “Alguns grupos marginais nos documentos de Santa Maria de Alcobaça. Losa. Viator. “peopled” the locality of Santo André de Gondomar. Christians. ANTT...P. Santa Cruz. a study of the inquiries into land rights (inquirições) carried out under Afonso II (1211-1223) has revealed the presence of Muslims slaves and their descendants in 43 localities and in those inquirições undertaken by Afonso III (1246-1279) they figure in 86 places. footnotes 73-4. A. On the domestic roles of Muslim slaves in Catalan towns see Bensch. Bracara Augusta. 11 Durand. maço 20. Wealth and Community in Perpignan. 498. maço 36. P. bakers. cows. Documentos. 489-516 ISSN 0211-3589 . a situation similar to that of many Muslim slaves in Catalonia. 2006.. 12 “. Jews and Enslaved Muslims in a Medieval Mediterranean Town. 128-131. Lugares e Homens. 9 In many cases these slaves appear to have worked as domestic servants. 63-93 and Winer. and his Muslims”. 133-158. 1548. 1991. The documents rarely mention the particular trades or skills of slaves but those that do. it is clear that the slaves were employed as agricultural labourers by their masters. S.º de Portugal. The research of Pedro Gomes Barbosa has revealed a number of Muslim slaves working for the Cistercian monks of Alcobaça in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

J. “Siervos moros en la Asturias medieval”. there were no free Muslims and few slaves in northern Portugal. 16 It did not follow.. 18 In northern Portugal itself. 20 ANTT. to employ Muslim slaves and later legislation testifies that slaves employed by fishermen were often owned by a third party. H. 17 All the available evidence points to the conclusion that. Tucoo Chala (dir. who was apparently residing in Sobrado (near Porto) in 1330. 176v. Dinis. in P. Chancelaria de D. julio-diciembre 2007. 1. “Grupos étnico-religiosos e estrangeiros”. that slaves worked exclusively for their owners. in most of these cases. fols. 1990. 16 15 Al-Qan÷ara (AQ) XXVIII 2. livro 1. however. “Os ‘mouros’ de entre Douro e Minho”. 1986. In an interesting letter of September 1286. These slaves had converted to Christianity and been assimilated within one or two generations. 3 (1979). Lisbon. Dinis.). A. de Oliveira (ed. I. the only trace in documents that individuals retained of their Muslim past was to be found in the epithet “mouro” that followed their Christian name. however. fol. far from the communities of free Muslims in southern Portugal and from any form of organised Islamic religious worship or instruction. “Les sarrasins du monastère de Sobrado”. Chancelaria de D.). 17 ANTT. It is interesting to note. Their complete acculturation and assimilation is perhaps not such a surprise when we take into account the fact that they lived in small isolated groups. 211. and possibly another individual. J. 224-238. Asturiensia Medievalia. Paris. who were recorded as living in Guimarães in July 1292. 15 As such. 18 Gautier Dalche. See footnote 94. 19 The only free Muslims (mouros forros) to appear in this region are a certain Sa‘êd and his wife. that the inquirições conducted at the behest of King Dinis (1279-1325) show a marked decline in these numbers. 196.. 20 By the fifteenth century. the picture of slavery that emerges in Portugal during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries presents many similarities with the pattern found in northern Castile and Asturias during the same period.MUSLIM SLAVES AND FREEDMEN IN MEDIEVAL PORTUGAL 493 four individuals. Afonso IV. however. 139-161. 314. 71-94. Ruiz de la Peña. pp. Chancelarias de D. 37v and Marques. A rare twelfth-century genealogy of Muslim slaves owned by the Cistercian monastery of Sobrado in neighbouring Galicia includes a number of slaves bought by the monks in Portugal. the conversion of Muslim slaves to Christianity was swiftly followed by their assimilation into Christian society. 19 Losa. 489-516 ISSN 0211-3589 . livro 2. named Duran “mouro”. Minorités et marginaux en France méridionale et dans la péninsule ibérique VIIe XVIIIe siècles. near Leiria. Dinis authorised the fishermen of Povóa de Paredes. One of the constitutions of the synod of Gomes.

. 94-7.”. 25 “.. A. 26 Franco Silva. 489-516 ISSN 0211-3589 . A. 71.). 494. explicitly states that there were no Muslims in the archdiocese. pp. una bonam mauram puellam. 21 Unfortunately. Les campagnes portugaises. Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Tarouquela. caixa 2. 22 Barbosa. 3 (1992). The “quality” of a slave is sometimes mentioned in documents. From this document. The trade from Portugal to Castile concerned only non-Muslim black African slaves. 24 Durand. 24 An added complication is that the price of individual slaves could vary according to different criteria such as their age or particular skills. Durand. footnote 58.. 130. Later that century. for the sum of 71 “libras de dinheiro Portugues”. maço 4. 26 A rare fourteenth-century contract provides a unique insight both into the way that Portugal was part of the slave trade that crossed the Peninsula and the small print surrounding the sale of a slave. Robert Durand speculated that the price of an individual slave. 1317. rendering it impossible to reach any secure conclusion. julio-diciembre 2007. García y García. was thus situated between that of a mule (42 morabotinos) and of a mare (10 morabotinos). In March 1368. 22 A sale contract dated 2 October 1317 describes the sale of a slave named Ziza by her owner João Francisco. 130.494 FRANÇOIS SOYER the archdiocese of Braga. the sale of 12 men and 5 women for 285 morabotinos. 486. “El comercio de esclavos entre el Algarve y Andalucía en el siglo XV”. Cadernos Históricos.. an inhabitant of Esgueira. Les campagnes portugaises. env. maço 14. very few existing sales contracts survive and thus only fragmentary evidence exists concerning the prices of slaves.. porque somos enformado que os nom há nesta terra”. 23 A document from the monastery of Lorvão (near Coimbra) records. ANTT. at around 17 morabitinos. 23 ANTT. a “E posto que nesta constituiçom nom fazemos mençom dos mouros. 21 Al-Qan÷ara (AQ) XXVIII 2. Madrid. In 1265 the Cistercian monastery of Alcobaça exchanged part of a mill in Leiria in return for a vineyard and a slave whose value was estimated at 60 libras. amongst other items. held in 1477. 25 Very little documentary evidence of a trade in Muslim slaves across the Luso-Castilian border has yet surfaced and none relating to the export of slaves from Portugal to Castile which appears to have concerned only black slaves from sub-Saharan Africa. Mosteiro de Chelas. 2. four male slaves were sold for 60 morabitinos each. Synodicon Hispanum. footnote 21. “Alguns grupos marginais”. 1982. (ed. The sales act of a property near Lisbon in 1239 specifies that it included “a good Muslim girl” whilst other documents refer to “a fine Muslim girl” and “a bald but good Muslim”.

28 One characteristic frequently referred to in documents is the skin colour of the Muslim slaves. 29 Serra. 489-516 ISSN 0211-3589 . 60v (escpraua brancas). a Jewish merchant who was himself from Seville in Castile. as early as the thirteenth century. Chancelaria de D. 60. Al-Qan÷ara (AQ) XXVIII 2.. fols. feet and eyes and is free from the devil or any other hidden illness. Chancelaria de D. fol. Afonso V. 1984. livro 8. P. Indeed. fol. Arquivo Histórico Portugues. João II. The sale contract includes what must have been a usual guarantee specifying that the slave had “healthy hands. footnotes 26 and 30. thus indicating that the slaves were from North Africa or from areas further south. Azevedo. the victim of a Castilian raid during that kingdom’s war with Aragón between 1356 and 1366. 18v (mouro negro de gujne). “Os ecravos”. fol. Perez. The seller was in fact a middleman since he had himself bought the woman from another Jewish merchant in Seville. 1 (1903). 140-140v (mouro branco).. indicating a North African origin. Chancelaria de D. Cunha. fol. 1974. 55. 266v. four from Arzilla. Lisbon. livro 33. two from Guinea and only one each from Granada and “Gabel Fabibi” (the Jabal ·abêb in northern Morocco). livro 9. fol. Afonso V.. D. Manuel I. fol. documents refer to slaves as being either “white” or “black”. livro 15. 93. 27 Early Portuguese documents do not mention the origins of slaves. Documents occasionally describe the slave as originating from “beyond the sea” (d’allem maar). livro 29. For later examples see ANTT. e das maãhos e dos olhos e de demonjho e doutra door encuberta e por de bõa guerra e nõ de paz. including seven slaves from Fez. livro 7.. P.MUSLIM SLAVES AND FREEDMEN IN MEDIEVAL PORTUGAL 495 nun from the convent of Chelas purchased in Lisbon “a white Muslim woman who is a native of Aragón and named Murayma” for 150 libras. João II. The seller was Juca Abeator. pp. 28v. The intriguing reference to possession by the devil was probably employed in this case to refer to mental illnesses such as epilepsy while the final part of the guarantee was included to reassure the buyer that the slave had been legitimately acquired and not stolen. 28 In addition to the appendix see ANTT.. “Mouros e mouros”. julio-diciembre 2007. 29 27 “. 1.. a quall moura lhj vendo por ssãa dos pees.”. A. O livro de recebimentos de 1470 da chancelaria da câmara. Chancelaria de D. Perhaps the unfortunate Murayma was a Mudéjar. Chancelaria de D. 6 (mouro negro). Lisbon. livro 16. Only in the fifteenth century does information relating to the origins of slaves sporadically appear and this data attests to their predominantly Moroccan origins. and has been legitimately enslaved as a result of war and not during peacetime”. 299.

Cartulário da Sé de Coimbra. still Muslims it must be assumed. A couple of twelfth-century wills preserved in the cartulary of the diocese of Coimbra suggest that masters treated their slaves differently according to their religious status. were to be sold to raise cash to ransom Christian captives in Islamic lands. the rest of their slaves. 220 (1116. pp. another Christian. offered his Muslim slave Muçammad the alternative of freedom if he converted or. in nostra potestate fuerint. of redeeming himself from his master’s heirs for 30 “Et facimus ingenuos omnes servos et ancillas qui. 409-411. M. et mauros et mauras. Livro Preto. pro anima mea et pro sua. The Christian couple also specified that. et illam familiam quam habemus de sarracenis servient domne Marie. in his will of 1301. dum vixerint [vixerit?]. in August 1156. 31 “Et si in hoc itinere mortuus fuero mando ingenuare illam puellam. Livro Preto. In 1116. julio-diciembre 2007. 340-1. (ed. 3. 1999. João Peres. João Gosende and his wife Ximena freed their slaves Martinho Cides and Pedro Pais. nominee Mariam. named Pedro Cortido. Slaves might be exchanged for a Christian held prisoner in Islamic territories. ad obitum nostrum. qui in ipso tempore in nostro potestate fuerint denture pro captivis christianis”. Slaves might redeem themselves — essentially buy their own freedom — through a contractual agreement with their owner that attached specific conditions to the grant of freedom. 489-516 ISSN 0211-3589 .496 FRANÇOIS SOYER Manumission and Freedom Slavery was not a permanent condition and manumission was an accepted practice. post mortem vero suam. no month is given in this document). Slaves could have their freedom granted by their master without conditions. the master of the cathedral school of Coimbra in Portugal. instructed his executors to free a baptized slave girl named Maria. if they wished “to remain in error”. apparently converts to Christianity. 2. should be sold to ransom Christian captives. after their deaths. siquis in errore sue permanere voluerit vendatur et detur pro captivis”. granting them the use of certain lands for the duration of their lifetime. if he chose to remain a Muslim. 276 (August 1156). 30 Similarly. Coimbra. 31 The same pressure to convert is apparent when. A. Al-Qan÷ara (AQ) XXVIII 2. Rodrigues. and also ordered that after his wife’s death all the other slaves he possessed should be manumitted if they chose to accept baptism or. There were three different ways in which slaves could legally claim their freedom in medieval Portugal: 1. Rodrigues. ingenuet illos qui voluerint babtizari.).

In January 1480. 82. and the manumission act states that the grant was the fulfilment of an agreement concluded three years previously: Muçammad. 33 Inês Martins and her husband João de Castilha. Afonso V. agreed to free ‘Alê — a native of Granada — once he had worked hard enough to purchase both a black slave to replace him and a vineyard. João II. fol. as we shall see below). King Afonso V manumitted Muçammad. ANTT. Chancelaria de D. 32 The alternative amounted to either immediate freedom in the first case or quite possibly years of continued servitude in the latter case. a slave working in the royal stables. A slave might be required to work for a set period of time. “Grupos étnico-religiosos e estrangeiros”. mafamede noso escrauo que anda em a nossa estrebarya nos dise que elle tynha de nos huum aluara per nos asynado per que nos prazya que serujndo nos muy bem 33 32 Al-Qan÷ara (AQ) XXVIII 2. a slave who works in Our stables. 34 ANTT. This form of manumission existed in Roman law and was adopted throughout the Iberian Christian kingdoms. livro 11. starting on 1 January 1477 and finishing on the first of January of the year of Our Lord 1480.MUSLIM SLAVES AND FREEDMEN IN MEDIEVAL PORTUGAL 497 an agreed payment. Afonso V. A number of fifteenth century documents record such conditional manumissions offered both to slaves who had remained Muslim and to those who had converted. By way of illustration. 33. has informed Us that he has in his possession a royal privilege signed by Us according to which it pleased Us that having served Us as well as always for a period of three years. 35 “. 34 The Crown itself concluded such conditional manumission agreements. pp. fol. julio-diciembre 2007. fol. A master and his slave could reach an agreement by which the slave agreed to work for a set period of time after which he would be set free. earn a set sum in cash or work until he had earned enough cash to purchase a replacement deemed to be suitable by the owner. a public notary in Santarém. Rui Gomes.. 66v. for their part. Chancelaria de D. 321. he should be free without either Ourselves or anyone else having any further claim [on his person]. Conversion to Christianity was a very frequent occurrence but was by no means a systematic prerequisite to manumission or a guarantee of it (except when the owners were Jews. promised his slave Muçammad that he would be freed after 9 years of service and a slavewoman named Margarita Portador was only freed after 12 years of service. livro 27. When an owner agreed to free a slave in return for a set period of labour the terms of the agreement are usually specified. 35 Gomes.. Chancelaria de D. 489-516 ISSN 0211-3589 . livro 37.

The huge discrepancy between these sums and those paid by the older women would suggest they were both relatively youthful and able-bodied men. livro 32. fol. 8 and 61v.”. Chancelaria de D.. Notwithstanding this. the King also emancipated another one of his slaves. fol. livro 14. 74. livro 2. the freedmen or freedwomen were clearly not always elderly men and women. forro e exsento tam Jnteyramente como o sam os outros mouros forros. livro 23. Afonso V. 40 ANTT. ANTT. 7.. João II. 36 The obligation to remain and live in Portugal was indeed a condition that was usually associated to manumission licences by the Crown. Feyate Azulejo. 489-516 ISSN 0211-3589 . fol. João II. livro 33.. julio-diciembre 2007. O livro de recebimentos. fol. in recognition of certain services the latter had rendered but which are not specified. was present in Portugal since the start of the thirteenth century and fifteenth-century documents attest to the excomo senpre seruja tres anos acabados que se começasem prymeyro dia de Janeiro do ano de noso Senhor Jhesu christo de mjl iiijc Lxxbijte e se acabasem por primeiro dia do mes presente e era desta carta de mjl iiijc Lxxxta elle ficase lyure e forro sem nos nem pesoe algua em elle teer algum direito. Chancelaria de D. The care of old or infirm slaves unable to work presented an unwelcome burden to their owners and five “old Muslim women” were allowed to redeem themselves for 1000 reais and return to Fez in 1470. pp.498 FRANÇOIS SOYER A little over a year later. some freedmen were allowed to return to their native lands and in 1473 one such freedman was even granted a safe-conduct to return to Portugal whenever he wished with goods to trade. ANTT. specifies that she was aged between 28 to 30 years old. 60. 7-7v. Chancelaria de D. 37 ANTT. 36 “. fols. dedicated to the deliverance of Christian captives. Chancelaria de D. 39 ANTT. the slave of Fernão Patalim. The manumission of Zahr×’. Afonso V. 178.. Afonso V. 39 In 1466 two Muslim slaves from Fez belonging to separate owners. were permitted to redeem themselves in return for the payment of 20000 and 12000 reais respectively. 40 The final way in which slaves could regain their freedom was in exchanges of Muslim prisoners and slaves held in Portugal with Christian captives in North Africa.. 38 In spite of this document. 38 Perez. Al-Qan÷ara (AQ) XXVIII 2. The diploma indicates that Feyate was to be “free and emancipated as much are all the other free Muslims” of the kingdom but was not to leave Portugal without a royal licence. 37 The manumission of slaves in some cases appears to have been motivated by economic reasons.. Mùs× and Sulaym×n. Chancelaria de D.”. The Trinitarian Order.

João II. 45 ANTT. Al-Qan÷ara (AQ) XXVIII 2. presumably for financial reasons since owners would have to pay a fee to obtain these licences. julio-diciembre 2007. 41 The Crown did not arrange regular prisoner exchanges and the financial burden of redeeming prisoners of war fell largely on their own families. ANTT. fol. 33 (confirmed in 1483). livro 15. towns and villages of the kingdom in order to gather enough money to purchase a Muslim slave from Fez who could be exchanged for Diogo Afonso. fol. 43 Owners who failed to acquire such manumission licences faced fines and the confiscation of their slaves. who was a held prisoner in Fez. Entre a cristandade e o Islão (séculos XV-XVII): Cativos e renegados nas franjas de duas sociedades em confronto. Ceuta.. livro 21. 45 This rule was apparently relaxed under King João II in 1487. pp. 1998. 145-168. the slaves of a nobleman serving in the royal household were confiscated in 1480 since they had concluded an agreement with their owner “without my licence to do so”. Mendes Drummond. livro 27. authorising them to enter into 41 Braga. 42 ANTT.M. for instance. 44 ANTT. 73v. 43 “. 44 Likewise. Chancelaria de D. 489-516 ISSN 0211-3589 . One such licence was granted to the knight Pero Vaz of Oeiras in 1471: We hold it to be right and grant to [Pero Vaz] a licence to emancipate his slave named ‘Abd al-Raçm×n so long as he does not do so with money from the land except if [‘Abd al-Raçm×n] works and does other things which he orders him to do. Afonso V. fol. [‘Abd al-Raçm×n] should be emancipated and freed after the completion of the time period stipulated in the contract between Pero Vaz and his slave. the crown confiscated the slave in 1482. temos por bem e damos lhe licençia e lugar que possa forrar huum seu escravo per nome chamado aderraman comtanto que nom seja com dinheirro da terra saluo laurando e fazendo outras coussas que lhe mandar e acabando o tenpo que sse com elle conujer fique forro e isento segundo a forma do contrauto que antre o dicto pero vaaz e sseu escrauo for fecto.MUSLIM SLAVES AND FREEDMEN IN MEDIEVAL PORTUGAL 499 istence of a special official — the alfaqueque-mor — who was charged with arranging the redemption of captives and who worked with a number of subordinate officials. when Rui Gomes of Santarém failed to seek a royal licence to manumit his slave after 9 years of labour. livro 16. Chancelaria de D. 121. The monarch sent a letter to the councillors of Tavira..”. Afonso V..R. In February 1455 Catalina Vaz and her daughter Catalina Afonso were granted the right to beg and receive money in all the cities. 103v. Chancelaria de D. Afonso V. I. fol. Chancelaria de D. respectively the son and brother of the above. Thus. 42 The Portuguese Crown sought to control the process of manumission through a system of licences..

ª serie. F. “Slavery and solidarity: Mudéjars and foreign Muslim captives in the kingdom of Valencia”. A comuna muçulmana de Lisboa (sécs. 489-516 ISSN 0211-3589 . que lá jaz cativo”. “Mudéjars helping other mudéjars in the kingdom of Valencia”. XIV-XV). M. Documents in the fifteenth century frequently specify whether or not a slave was authorised to ransom himself with “money from the kingdom”. 48 The research of Maria Filomena Lopes de Barros has done much to shed light on this hereto unknown minority. “Slavery and the social order: Mudéjars and Christians in the kingdom of Valencia”. 85-100 and idem. M. 1 (1995). 286-343. D. 144-173 and idem. Porto.. Livro 2 de Odiana. 1998.500 FRANÇOIS SOYER manumission contracts with their Muslim slaves “in any manner (. livro IV. O’Connor.. “De como he defeso. ou per resguate d’outro Christaaõ. 47 Muslim Slaves and Mudéjars Muslim slaves did not constitute the only Muslim presence in medieval Portugal. Ordenações Afonsinas. 99-107. See Barros. 2. História. 49 Meyerson. “As comunas Muçulmanas em Portugal (Subsidios para seu estudo)”. Lisbon. This proviso appears to stem from a law instituted in 1452 that forbade the emancipation of Muslim slaves unless that freedom had been purchased by “foreign money” or the slave was to be exchanged for a Christian captive in Muslim lands. I. 17 (2006). 48 Modern research on the kingdom of Valencia had revealed that there was considerable interaction between the mudéjars and Muslim slaves. Al-Mas×q. 7 (1990). 49 The documentary evidence suggests that relations between the free Muslim communities and their enslaved coreligionists in PorANTT. 254v.. pp. or comunas. in Medieval Encounters 2 (1996). se nom por preço que traga de sua terra. in Medieval Encounters. there also existed various communities of free Muslims in a number of towns in the southern half of the kingdom who were allowed to remain in Portugal under the protection of the Crown. julio-diciembre 2007. de. titulo 111. L.. que se nom forre Mouro ou Moura cativo. 47 46 Al-Qan÷ara (AQ) XXVIII 2. Since the twelfth century.) so long as [the freed slaves] live in this kingdom in the same way as all the other free Muslims of the Muslim quarters”. Revista da Faculdade de Letras. and from the end of the fourteenth century lived in segregated Muslim quarters or mourarias. These Muslims — designated as “mouros forros” but now generally referred to by historians as mudéjars — were organised into autonomous communities. 46 Whether this measure was applied solely to Tavira or to the whole realm is not known. fol.

livro 9. caixa 7. Moura. many Muslim freedmen were required by the terms of their manumission to remain in Portugal and thus merged into the mudéjar community. fol. Elvas and Beja all successfully petitioned the Crown to grant them the right to purchase Muslim slaves of both sexes in order to redeem them and marry them. as there is compelling evidence to suggest that these communities may have been in part composed of freedmen who remained Muslims. As early as 1280.”. Chancelaria de D. 52 ANTT. 97-8. In 1463 the crown confiscated a black slave owned by a mudéjar of Silves named Mùs× Toque and granted him to Afonso Lobo. 51 Such was the demographic pressure that.). pp. 53 “. They alleged that they did not dare to do so because of the royal ordinances restricting manumission and the Crown granted their petition.. livro 20. There is irrefutable evidence that Portuguese mudéjars — apparently in demographic decline — actively sought to incorporate freed Muslim slaves into their communities in this manner.. a nos diserom que huum murça toque mouro morador em a nossa cidade de silues conprou huum moço negro escrauo e ho çercundou e o rretalhou sem tendo pera ello nossa licença por a quall rrazom per bem da nossa hordenaçom sobre ello fecta e direito comum perde o dicto escrauo pera nos. The grant specifies that Mùs× Toque had lost the slave because he had “circumcised him without having a licence from Us to do so”. 125 (Elvas 1472).. fol. ANTT. Al-Qan÷ara (AQ) XXVIII 2. 73v (Lisbon 1471). 60 (Santarém 1466). O Livro dos bens de D. Chancelaria de D. 53 The religious ties that existed between mudéjars and Muslim slaves and the solidarity that they engendered sometimes also gave rise to 50 Azevedo. livro 21. Tavira. Lisbon. 50 In the fifteenth century. This should certainly not come as any surprise. 582. 109 v (Tavira 1466). julio-diciembre 2007. fol. Afonso V. 105v-106 (Loulé 1463) and fol. A. João de Portel. livro 21. 52 The need to purchase Muslim slaves was compounded by the fact that the conversion to Islam of non-Muslim slaves from sub-Saharan Africa was strictly prohibited without the procurement of a special royal licence and offenders were punished. livro 33. Afonso V. we find a reference to a carpenter named Sa‘êd “que foy de Pedro Rodriguez” living in Évora. fol. 159v.. between 1463 and 1487. Chancelaria de D. 160 (Moura 1474). Santarém. livro 38. the Muslim communities of Loulé. 153 51 ANTT. João II. P. Mosterio de Santos-o-Novo. fol 30v (Beja 1487). fol.MUSLIM SLAVES AND FREEDMEN IN MEDIEVAL PORTUGAL 501 tugal were just as strong. de (ed. A document of 1451 refers to a slave named Muçammad of Granada who was married to a free Muslim woman of Lisbon named F×÷ima. Lisbon. livro 8. fols. 2003. 489-516 ISSN 0211-3589 .

o comuu dos Mouros de Lixboa nos enviou dizer. sem achando os cativos em seu poder. in their unsuccessful attempt to escape from Portugal. 54 Al-Qan÷ara (AQ) XXVIII 2. he also gave them a letter of recommendation for all the mudéjar communities of Portugal. asking them to shelter and provide the fugitive slaves with sufficient funds to enable them to leave the kingdom and seek refuge in Islamic territories. In his defence. The law refers to a letter of complaint sent to the king by the mudéjars of Lisbon that describes the abuses in explicit terms: The free Muslim community of Lisbon has sent Us [word] that whenever a knight or any other person finds that one of his Muslim slaves has escaped they seize [the free Muslims] without having discovered the slaves in their houses and extorted bribes from them. one of the slaves implicated Q×sim Laparo.. fazendo-os por ello espeitar. Keen to have them leave Portugal as soon as possible... in which the monarch ordered his officials and subjects not to harass and arbitrarily arrest mudéjars whom they suspected of harbouring fugitive slaves. Q×sim Laparo was accused of having advised them to secretly dispose of the body in the sea and providing 400 reais to the slaves. ou a alguã outra pessoa fogia alguu Mouro dos captivos. 54 The king added that the mudéjars of Lisbon had also warned him that the level of abuse had reached such intolerable levels that some of his Muslim subjects were leaving the kingdom. In recognition of the attenuating circumstances. livro II.”. e em ella testemunhas nomeadas. then they have them tortured.502 FRANÇOIS SOYER danger for the mudéjars. que os fazião meter a tormento. 489-516 ISSN 0211-3589 . a noted mudéjar of Lisbon. que tanto que a alguu cavalleiro. levando delles o que teem sem dando querella jurada. Even more suggestive is a royal pardon granted in 1446 to a mudéjar named Q×sim Laparo. pp. que logo lançavam maão por elles. The documents states that in 1444 a group of Muslim slaves were put to death for the murder of a Christian child in Lisbon. Ordenações Afonsinas. Q×sim Laparo was fined 100 golden “. They seize from [the free Muslims] what they possess without having lodged a formal complaint with named witnesses and. e que se lhes nom peitavam. julio-diciembre 2007. Q×sim Laparo stated that he had acted out of fear that news of the murder would provoke a great riot by the Christian population and that “all the Muslims of the Muslim quarter (mouraria) of Lisbon would be put to the sword”. Arrested and tortured by the Christian authorities. if [the free Muslims] do not bribe them.. titulo 118. This is revealed by a law enacted in 1421 by João I.

‘Alê Carrapato had been accused of having promised to redeem her with the money and marry her to one of his sons. 59 In one case. 58 ANTT. the last religious leader of the mudéjar community of Lisbon. the suspicion of complicity by mudéjars in the escapes or crimes of slaves is attested in a number of later documents. “As mourarias portuguesas no contexto da expansão”. Chancelaria de D. ‘Alê Boino. ANTT. 58 This involvement of the mudéjars continued into the fifteenth century and it is worth noting that Muçammad Laparo. 489-516 ISSN 0211-3589 . fol. 2 (1991). Cadernos Históricos. fol. 52v. Fernando.118. L. 57 ANTT. 59 ANTT. revealed by two separate documents of November and December 1462. livro 5. Chancelaria de D. 111v. Fernão Afonso Faleiro was pardoned and fined 1000 reais in 1483 for having falsely accused a mudéjar named ‘Alê Carrapato of having helped a Muslim slavewoman who had stolen money from her Jewish master. In a petition addressed to the Crown dating from after the expulsion. 116 and livro 12. julio-diciembre 2007. de. authorised him to take slaves purchased by him and other Portuguese mudéjars to North Africa and Granada. livro 1. Chancelaria de D. 56 55 Al-Qan÷ara (AQ) XXVIII 2. A safe-conduct delivered in 1371 to Adela. fols. the mudéjar community of Lisbon stood as guarantors for a certain Muçammad Abelhos who needed to go to North Africa to visit his friends and family to secure the ransom needed to redeem himself. livro 26. 55 In spite of the law of 1421. João II. Muçammad Laparo sought the payment of 45 cruzados to cover the expenses of his daughter and nephew in North Africa. fol. 56 In another case. livro 4. 1v. See Barros. 60 The Crown even went ANTT.MUSLIM SLAVES AND FREEDMEN IN MEDIEVAL PORTUGAL 503 crowns which were to be used to redeem a Christian captive in Granada or North Africa. Cartas Missivas. his wife and his children. livro 22. who were arranging the exchange and ransoming of prisoners. was arrested and imprisoned after complaints were made by two Christian inhabitants of the nearby port of Setúbal that he had aided and abetted the escape of two Muslim slaves. fol. was one of the few mudéjars allowed to remain in Portugal after the expulsion of all free Muslims residing in Portugal by Manuel I (1495-1521) in December 1496. F. maço 1. M. Afonso V. Afonso V. Afonso V. 272. Chancelaria de D. 90-90v. Chancelaria de D. 60 ANTT. 35. the leader of the mudéjars of Lisbon. a mudéjar of Palmela. fol. pp. 57 A number of Portuguese mudéjars received licences to travel to North Africa and it appears that they were actively involved in the ransoming and exchange of slaves and prisoners of wars.

”. 64 Catlos.. Etnografia portuguesa. livro 38. 64 Slaves and the Law in Portugal In legal terms.”. The encyclopaedic thirteenth-century Castilian law code known as the Siete Partidas — which had a major influence on Portugal legislation — described slaves as “another kind of men” without any civil rights.. 63 ANTT. Chancelaria de D. slaves were not considered to be “legal persons” but animated objects. 4. was owned by Ibr×hêm.. “Muslim freedmen in Castile. slaves were also ANTT. 65 Las siete partidas. Scott (transl. 977-980. King João I decided to entrust the mudéjar community of Lisbon with the care of six Muslim prisoners — including two from Granada — whilst their fates were decided. Al-Mas×q. Burns (ed. Afonso V. the slave of Q×sim Laparo and his wife Fotoz (?). Cambridge. 2004. maço 7. 131. Mosteiro de Chelas. “. A. livro 33. On this point the documents from Toledo are not conclusive. ANTT.. In the last decade of the fourteenth century. P.504 FRANÇOIS SOYER so far as to use the mudéjar community of Lisbon as a depository for captives. 65 In this context it is not surprising to find three slaves being exchanged for a piece of land in 1155 or a slave named Muçammad listed alongside a donkey in a will dating from the twelfth or thirteenth century. pp. F×÷ima Aznege. 489-516 ISSN 0211-3589 . F. 61. was pardoned for having taken part in the escape of her master’s son from the mouraria’s prison. Afonso V. There are other isolated examples of inter-Muslim slavery from the eastern parts of the Iberian Peninsula but it seems more probable that these cases represent atypical occurrences.. fol. 63 It is difficult to know what to make of these two cases.. fols. 66 As “legal objects”.) and R. 343. 60. 231-2. João I.). 2001. 66 “Et pro illa haereditate recepimus in praetium tres mauros. prior to his conversion to Christianity. 62 61 Al-Qan÷ara (AQ) XXVIII 2. 62 Another case is that of a freedman named Fernando who. fol. S. Chancelaria de D. julio-diciembre 2007. see Soyer.. Philadelphia. for instance. 33v-34. a mudéjar of Faro in the Algarve. j maurum qui vocatur Mafomede et una asina cum sua filha. León and Portugal (1100-1300)”. livro 5. 18 (2006). 61 There is only limited documentary evidence that Portuguese mudéjars bought Muslim slaves not only with the object of manumitting them but also to serve them just as they served Christian or Jewish owners. 142.. In 1466. Vasconcellos. I. The Victors and the Vanquished. ANTT. Chancelaria de D. B.

”. The undated customs of Garvão (thirteenth or fourteenth centuries) mention the fact that a slave might be half. who had later refused to eat and subsequently died “out of spite”. titulo XXI. Afonso V. inflicting a small but fatal head wound.. 68 67 Al-Qan÷ara (AQ) XXVIII 2. 70 ANTT. a third or even a quarter free but little is known about such partial ownership in the fifteenth century. o crischão que assy forra meyo ou terço ou quarto dalguum seu mouro. “. fol. et al. Afonso V.. Portugaliae Monumenta Historica. 71 Siete Partidas. who had fled but been recaptured. G. 266v. Leges et Consuetidines. According to the pardon. 70 The law stipulated that the slaves of Muslims and Jews who converted to Christianity were to be manumitted. 67 One of the main issues surrounding the “partial ownership” of slaves was their resulting “partial manumission”. The merchant had beaten his black Muslim slave — who was described as being “very mischievous” (muito travesso) — with a club. Lisbon. 69 Another pardon delivered on 17 December 1472. 1858-1868.. 83-4. for example.. pp. Olisipone. livro 29. 489-516 ISSN 0211-3589 . Vasco Perez was not actually fined because of the death of his slave. 69 ANTT. fol. Chancelaria de D. 99v. Crucially. was nevertheless pardoned since he was considered to be legally “blameless” in the death of his slave and furthermore there was no one to file a suit against him “as [the deceased] was a slave and a native of Muslim lands”. Vasco Perez had whipped the slave. Chancelaria de D..MUSLIM SLAVES AND FREEDMEN IN MEDIEVAL PORTUGAL 505 dividable and a document of 1268 refers to the right of ownership of “half a Muslim” and “a quarter of a Muslim”. described as a Muslim from Guinea. A. The pardon notes instead that the master had not acted “with the method and temperance which should be used in punishing and disciplining [a slave]”. ley VIII. 2. Herculano. 68 The relative legal impunity of slave owners is highlighted in a pardon granted in June 1463 to a merchant of Porto named João Eanes. 71 The extent to which this legislation was enforced is nonetheless unclear. was compelled to manumit his slave in 1473 when the latter converted to Christianity and took the Pradalié. 80. for which he was held to be guiltless by law. João Eanes. A mudéjar of Faro named Ibr×hêm. Partida IV. Lisboa da Reconquista ao fim do século XIII. livro 9. who had gone into hiding out of fear that the Crown’s officials might punish him. julio-diciembre 2007. 1975. describes how a man named Vasco Perez — an inhabitant of Vila Franca de Xira and labourer on Crown lands — was fined 6000 reais after the death of his slave..

. Pfandl (ed. The German traveller Münzer. “Itinerarium Hispanicum”. L. 72 Nevertheless. a will from Coimbra mentions “my slave Sa‘êd and his wife ‘¨’isha” and in 1451 we find a slave married to a mudéjar. 73 The impact of this law is also highly debatable. 77 ANTT. Caixa 7.506 FRANÇOIS SOYER name Fernando. 77 Marriages or sexual relationships between two Muslim slaves could lead to serious complications if one of them converted to Christianity. fol. Revue Hispanique. A Social History of Black Slaves. the Crown decreed once more in 1490 that Jews and Muslims owning slaves who converted to Christianity were legally compelled to free them within a set period of time. 76 “. 75v-76.). Münzer. Afonso V. julio-diciembre 2007. ANTT. two slaves owned by the powerful Duke of Bragança.. Chancelaria de D. Catarina and Muçammad had had sexual relations and she had borne him a son and a daughter. On the law passed at the parliament of Évora in 1490 see Saunders. Muçammad. recorded in his extant travel journal that the wealthy Jewish merchants of Lisbon owned large numbers of slaves. qui ex solo sclavorum suorum labore vivunt”. This is at least what occurred to Catarina Gonçalves. 74 Although slaves had the right to marry. who was fined 1500 reais for having had sexual relations with a Christian in 1490. the Portuguese documentation is scarce on this topic. 74 “Reperiuntur hic ditissimi Judei. qui quasi omnes merces vendunt. the baptised slave of the royal chaplain Martim Gonçalves. The pardon records that Catarina claimed she had been captured by her master during the capture of the Moroccan town of Arzilla in 1471 alongside another slave named Muçammad and that they had both been brought to Portugal. Mosteiro de Santos-o-Novo. 75 As early as 1281. 48 (1920). 76 Only one rare marriage certificate granted to two Muslim slaves has survived. In spite of his conversion. Jorge Martins continued to have sexual relations with Catarina — though she claimed it was against her ANTT.. 356.”. In April 1477 Afonso V granted a marriage licence to Muçammad and ‘¨’isha. pp. 489-516 ISSN 0211-3589 . livro 33. Part IV. 73 72 Al-Qan÷ara (AQ) XXVIII 2. who visited Lisbon in 1494. Chancelaria de D. had converted to Christianity and taken the name Jorge Martins in 1488 but she had remained a Muslim. TitleV. meum sarracenum Cayde et uxorem suam Ayxam. 60. H. Whilst they were both captives and still Muslims. 63.. fols.. 88. 75 On marriages between slaves see Siete Partidas. after complaints made by the representatives of the commons in a parliament. however. livro 33. Afonso V.

4. 79 78 Al-Qan÷ara (AQ) XXVIII 2. Pero was pardoned in April 1475 by the owner of Zahr×’ and his owners were condemned to pay a fine of 1000 reais. In her defence. Chancelaria de D. 489-516 ISSN 0211-3589 . 1. fols. 80 ANTT. 1861. An incident that occurred in the southern town of Tavira is particularly interesting in this respect. 82-82v. fol. et al. livro 3.. Mariam stated that she had slept with the convert “as much out of fear than for any other reason” (. whilst she was washing clothes in the river. Herculano. Chancelaria de D. the slave of a Genoese resident of Tavira. she had soon been denounced by people “who wished her ill” and imprisoned. Olisipone. livros de Linhagens. Chancelaria de D. livro 15. The hapless Mariam was prosecuted for having had illegal sexual relations with Diogo de Castro. 334. 81 In the fifteenth century. Due to her condition. owned by a Christian also called Diogo do Castro. 22. the anxiety surrounding sexual contact between Christians and Muslim slaves led to a far less permissive ANTT. João II. are themselves both known to have fathered children by slave women. the slavewoman of the surgeon general of Portugal Master Fernando. 81 Vasconcellos. 79 A pardon granted in 1482 to Mariam.). which left the Muslim woman extremely distressed and [afterwards] she ran back to the town in tears”. julio-diciembre 2007. The owner of Zahr×’ accused Pero of having attacked his slavewoman whilst on her way to wash clothes in the river. Afonso V. A. Portugaliae Monumenta Historica. fol. livro 30. The convert. a converted slave. Mariam was pardoned by the crown in return for a fine of 1000 reais paid by her owner.. ANTT. Diogo de Castro had threatened to kill her if she did not let him into her master’s house during the night. João II. the slave of a Christian woman named Beatriz.. 162 and 182. According to her version of events. 84. King Afonso I and his great-grandson Afonso III. had then raped her. Etnográfia portuguesa. tanto por medo como por outro respeito. In the end. however. described in the document as an homem matador e acujtellador.. 78 A number of pardons granted by the Crown during the fifteenth century illustrate the different ways in which the sexual activity between slaves of different religions could fall foul of the law. 80 The vulnerability of female Muslim slaves to sexual exploitation by their Christian masters is evident in documents. was accused of raping Zahr×’. It was alleged that Pero “threw her onto the ground to sleep with her by force. Scriptores Vol. along with some of their noblemen. Pero. pp.MUSLIM SLAVES AND FREEDMEN IN MEDIEVAL PORTUGAL 507 will — and fathered another son. shows that the defence of rape was not always accepted as an excuse by the courts..

Afonso V. Chancelaria de D. livro 33. 489-516 ISSN 0211-3589 . A slavewoman of the deceased Infanta Catarina and another slavewoman owned by a certain João de Chaquedo were both imprisoned and condemned to a flogging for not wearing the symbol in December 1471. Afonso V. The slavewoman had converted to Christianity and borne her master two children but the latter was already married. Al-Qan÷ara (AQ) XXVIII 2. fol. In the first case. Fernão claimed as attenuating circumstances “the fact that he is aged 70 and his wife is 75 and she had been paralysed and blind for ten years”. pp. 85 Sexual relations between Muslims and Jews did not fall within the jurisdiction of Christian laws but two cases concerning slaves have left a trace in the royal registers. livro 16. a royal pardon was granted to both of them and she was granted to him. In recognition of the fact that the woman had become a Christian along with the son sired by João de Abreu. fol. 39 and livro 17. livro 15. 28v. Chancelaria de D. who entertained sexual relations with a slavewoman who did not belong to him. He was condemned to be flogged in public and then deported to the newly explored island of São Tomé for the rest of his life. This was the case for an inhabitant of Tavira named Fernão Gonçalves Rasto. On the distant Atlantic island of Madeira. João II. who was pardoned but still fined 1000 reais brancos in 1473 after having slept with his Muslim slavewoman “while she was still a Muslim”. fol. Muslim slaves were required to wear a distinguishing symbol on their clothing just like the mudéjars and those who failed to wear the symbols were punished. 83 Nonetheless it appears that the Crown did take into account particular circumstances. 21. 84. Chancelaria de D. a Jew of Santiago do Cacém named Judas Ambrão was fined 500 reais in 1491 for having illegally converted to Judaism the son he had fathered by his Muslim slavewoman. 85 ANTT. julio-diciembre 2007. 84 ANTT. ANTT. Chancelaria de D. 83 ANTT. fol. fol. an official of Porto.508 FRANÇOIS SOYER atmosphere. 82 Male or female slaves found guilty of transgressions were subjected to harsh punishments. Afonso V. 84 A far less clement position was adopted by the Crown when the master of a Muslim slave not only slept with her but also committed adultery. livro 7. In this instance the Jewish master was not fined for hav82 In the end both women were spared the flogging. 22. a converted slave named João Penteado was accused in 1485 of having slept with a Christian woman “whilst still a Muslim”. This certainly appears to have been the case for João de Abeu.

naturally moved many slaves to resort to flight in order to recover their freedom. pp. 88 In 1482 João de Freitas. Justiça e criminalidade no Portugal medievo. 140-140v. In the violent society that was medieval Portugal.MUSLIM SLAVES AND FREEDMEN IN MEDIEVAL PORTUGAL 509 ing sex with his slave but rather for not having obtained — and paid for — a royal licence to convert his slave. ANTT. Afonso V. Chancelaria de D. 87 86 Al-Qan÷ara (AQ) XXVIII 2. 86 In the second case. livro 34. João II. The document does not leave any doubt that the slaves had acted alongside their master during the attack.. fols. “O Assalto à Judiaria Grande de Lisboa”. Afonso V. 1999. 90 ANTT. 88 On violence in medieval Portugal and the Crown’s attempts to control it see Duarte. H. 5. livro 33. 93. julio-diciembre 2007. L. 89-132. 89 ANTT. a knight of the royal household named Afonso Matos obtained a similar pardon for his slaves ‘Alê and Jorge.. João II. M.B. 1985. livro 2. 89 Two years later. 113. 91 Escape and Flight The abject social status of slaves. was fined 2000 reais for his part in a brawl that left many people wounded and was condemned to pay another 2000 reais for the participation of his slave Muçammad in the affray. Chancelaria de D. fol. livro 9. 90 Finally it is worth mentioning the case of ‘Alê — the slave of a Christian magistrate no less — who was pardoned for having taken part in the pillage of the largest Jewish quarter of Lisbon by a Christian mob in December 1449. 489-516 ISSN 0211-3589 . livro 23. 120. often in the company of their masters. fol. Chancelaria de D. the first of having pulled his hair and the second of “having been present” during the assault. 87 It is usual to see the slaves as the victims of violence but in some cases they were the perpetrators of it. 91 ANTT. Chancelaria de D. a slave named ‘Alê. and the harsh treatment to which they were often subjected. Marginalidade e Conflictos Sociais em Portugal nos séculos XIV e XV. Chancelaria de D. who is described as a “white Muslim” and the property of a Christian widow of Santarém. Lisbon. slaves became involved in the disputes of their masters. fol. On the riot of 1449 see Moreno. João II. an inhabitant of Lagos in the Algarve. Lisbon. received a pardon for having had sexual intercourse with the daughter of a Jew of the same town in return for a fine of 2000 reais which was to be spent on a monument dedicated to the deceased Infante Fernando in the monastery of São Francisco de Santarém. fol. The problem of escape by ANTT. Both men were implicated in an assault on João de Coimbra.

108. the 1000 reais then the slave remained the property of the man who had found and arrested him or her. The ordenações afonsinas punished any individual(s) found guilty of aiding and abetting the escape of slaves with stiff penalties. ANTT. e os nom cobrão mais”. pp. Leitura Nova. have been reliably informed that the greater part of the slaves in the whole realm [often] take flight with the assistance of certain people who [dare to] help them because there is no one to search for them and arrest them when they escape. Livro 2. In 1284 a law forbade ferrymen to transport slaves across the Tajo river unless they were accompanied by their masters. If the owner could not pay. Herculano. 94 93 Al-Qan÷ara (AQ) XXVIII 2. 489-516 ISSN 0211-3589 . 95 “Nos o iffante avemos per certa enformaçom. [This occurs] even though [some people] may know of [the escape] because [these people] have nothing to gain from [preventing it]. como por hi nom aver nehuu. 95 The infante decreed that anyone who apprehended a fugitive slave would be entitled to a payment of 1000 reais brancos from the owner. livro II. 94 In the fifteenth century. que os levam. Leges et Consuetidines. just like 92 Arquivo Histórico da Camára Municipal de Lisboa. In a law promulgated between 1412 and 1433. livro 1. the infante Duarte highlighted the importance of the phenomenon of flight amongst the servile population: We. the prince. Estremadura. julio-diciembre 2007.º de Místicos de Reis. or was unwilling to pay. fol. 92 The customs of Guarda — dating from the thirteenth or fourteenth centuries — ordered the owners of slaves to punish fugitives by amputating one of their feet and explicitly banned slaves from eating meals or having drinks in taverns or houses other than those of their masters. e se vaaõ.510 FRANÇOIS SOYER Muslim slaves is discussed as early as the municipal forais of the twelfth century. Individuals who acted as guides to fugitive slaves were to remain “in the power of those who apprehended them. que se trabalhe de os buscar. Portugaliae Monumenta Historica. 93 A law promulgated at an unknown date before 1351 even forced the owners of boats on which slaves escaped to compensate their owners. the escape of slaves was one of the problems dealt with by the legal compilation known as the ordenações afonsinas. when the prince was associated as co-ruler by his father João I. Ordenações Afonsinas.º 1. In this way their owners lose [the slaves] and cannot recover them. titulo 113. 10 and 11. por entenderem que dello lhes nom vem alguu proveito. e aver aa mão quando fogem. que a maior parte dos Mouros cativos de todo o regno fogem. e encaminhão. e per esta guisa os perdem se os donos. posto que o saibam. assy per consentimento d’alguus. n.

. Afonso V. 100 ANTT. in July 1463. 99 The problem of the misidentification of freedmen as slaves continued into the early sixteenth century. 28v (. who does not appear to have ever been a slave. julio-diciembre 2007.. was granted a royal certificate of freedom for the reason that he feared arrest “because he looks like a Muslim”. 97 96 Al-Qan÷ara (AQ) XXVIII 2. Chancelaria de D. Ordenações Afonsinas.. and molested by either the authorities or vigilantes. a Moroccan convert named João de Meneses. livro 9. 98 ANTT. 83. 98 Later. por que se temja alguns crendo que era mouro o prenderem e filharem por escrauo. the emirate Ordenações Afonsinas.MUSLIM SLAVES AND FREEDMEN IN MEDIEVAL PORTUGAL 511 prisoners of war” while those found culpable of aiding slaves — for instance by hiding them or providing them with money and clothes — were to be imprisoned until they paid a fine worth three times the value of the escaped slave. is obvious in a number of fifteenth century documents. Chancelaria de D. another third was destined to compensate the owner(s) of the slave for their loss and the remaining third was to be paid over to the Crown. during the same period. titulo 114. Documents indicate that. 96 If a Christian serving as a guide for a runaway slave was captured by a Jew or a free Muslim then the law specified that the wrongdoer was to be handed over to the Crown’s representatives as “a Christian cannot be the captive of a Jew. ANTT. 97 Such laws meant that manumission did not mean the end of trouble for the erstwhile slaves. A privilege granted by the Crown in February 1440 to João Peres. pareçemdo ser mouro. 489-516 ISSN 0211-3589 . members of the free Muslim minority illegally migrated to North Africa. or a Muslim or any other infidel”. 99 “. 100 Where did escaped slaves go? The documents are largely silent on this interesting issue but it is not difficult to find convincing hypotheses. dark skin colour — is indicative of the precarious status of freedmen in Portugal.”. Chancelaria de D.. fol... pp. for example. 106v. Afonso V.. livro V. livro 20. livro 9. fol. In 1517. fol. A third of this fine was to be handed over to those who had denounced the culprit. the Crown granted a similar certificate of freedom to Martinho — a convert and freedman — because “he fears that some [people] will claim that he is a Muslim and will seize and arrest him as a [fugitive] slave”. Manuel I. more likely. titulo 113. This strange expression — referring possibly to his dress or. his wife Catarina and their sons João and Diogo confirmed their status as freedmen “since some people reject them and take them to be slaves in spite of the fact that they are Christians”. livro II.. The fear of being mistaken for a fugitive slave.).

fol. Esclaves et domestiques au moyen âge dans le monde méditerranéen. 110. livro 34. Seville. J. an inhabitant of Tavira” in consideration of the fact that he admitted that he had acted “misguidedly”. 1997. 104 Conclusion In the conclusion of his general study of slavery in the medieval Mediterranean. 103 In one surprising case.. Mendes Drummond. Afonso V. a petition was submitted to the Crown by Domingos Vaz Rasco and Gonçalo Eanes. I. fol. in June 1476. 104 ANTT. julio-diciembre 2007. to have the manumission agreements of their slaves recognised by the Crown. pp. 22. 102 A little over a decade later. The contract had been hastily concluded during the war between Portugal and Castile (1474-1476) because the owners were afraid that their slaves would take advantage of the conflict to flee to Castile. livro 8. two inhabitants of Tavira. 1683. fol. The two men stated that they had agreed to free two slaves named ‘Alê and Bakr after these had served them for a set period of time that is not specified. Chancelaria de D. Paris. des situations économiques et sociales. an escaped slave who had reached “his lands” (apparently Granada or North Africa) petitioned the Crown to be able to return to Portugal. 101 Whilst reaching the Muslim territories in North Africa presented considerable difficulties — since these were overseas — many fugitives apparently sought refuge in the neighbouring kingdom of Castile and also probably in the emirate of Granada before 1492. 285. La Peninsula Iberica en la era de los descubrimientos 1391-1492. It is indeed the case that in March 1450 Afonso V granted a safe-conduct to return to Hidam “who used to belong to Gonçalo Nunes.512 FRANÇOIS SOYER of Granada and Castile and there is no reason to suspect that slaves differed in their choice of destination. M. Afonso V. 103 ANTT. Jacques Heers comments that “ce qui frappe le plus est bien l’extrême diversité des destins humains. Al-Qan÷ara (AQ) XXVIII 2. R. Actas III Jornadas Hispano-Portuguesas de Historia Medieval. Chancelaria de D. 105 The same comment can certainly be applied to the Muslim slaves who lived and worked in medieval Portu101 Braga. 1996. livro 7. Chancelaria de D. 102 ANTT. des circonstances de l’intégration et du processus d’assimilation”. 105 Heers. 489-516 ISSN 0211-3589 . 111. Afonso V. In 1464 an inhabitant of the border town of Moura received a pardon for having helped two fugitive slaves cross over into Castile. “Contribução para o estudo da mobilidade dos mouros forros em Portugal nos séculos XIV e XV”. 2.

1988. 13-14 (1994). Eborensia. Sidarus (ed. 1996. “Spécificité du problème morisque au Portugal : une colonie étrangère refusant l’assimilation et souffrant d’un sentiment de déracinement et de nostalgie”.MUSLIM SLAVES AND FREEDMEN IN MEDIEVAL PORTUGAL 513 gal. 489-516 ISSN 0211-3589 . something that is far from evident in the normative law codes and municipal charters of the same period. “Minorias étnicas e religiosas em Portugal no século XVI”. To cite but one example. it is difficult to extrapolate from them without running the risk of producing baseless generalisations.. “Os Mouriscos perante a Inquisição de Évora”. da Graça and A. 107 A detailed study of Muslim slaves in Portugal during the modern era has yet to be completed but there can be no doubt that the more abundant supply of slaves from sub-Saharan Africa meant that these slaves far outnumbered Muslim slaves from North Africa and supplanted them in terms of economic significance. The documentary sources highlight the extremely complex relations that existed between slaves and their owners. A. 2004. Primeiras jornadas de história IberoAmericana. julio-diciembre 2007. R. on 1 February 1541. a baptised slave named João Verde was denounced for praising Muçammad and respecting the Islamic Sabbath on Fridays as well as for having expressed his hopes that Lisbon would be attacked by the celebrated and feared Muslim corsair Barbarossa. 155-182. 6 (1908). Os Pseudo-Mouriscos de Portugal no século XVI. Mateus Ventura (eds. 45-76 and idem. Arquivo Histórico Portugues. 108 Coelho. Les Morisques et leur Temps. Converted Muslim slaves appear in various denunciations made to the Inquisition of Lisbon during the sixteenth century. Lisbon. Mendes Drummond. A. I. a small number of converted slaves who secretly continued to follow Islamic beliefs and customs feature in a number of Inquisition trials. and their quantitative paucity. 67-77. B. in Islão minoritario na Peninsula Ibérica. “Práticas religiosas dos mouriscos em Portugal (Segundo os processos inquisitoriais)”. “A inquisição em Portugal e no Brazil: as denunciações da inquisição de Lisboa”. The only discernable pattern in the extant documentary evidence is the shift in the nature of Muslim enslavement from an apparently rural focus in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries to its emergence as a predominantly urban phenomenon in the fifteenth century. Al-Qan÷ara (AQ) XXVIII 2. 107 On the trials of these slaves by the Portuguese Inquisition see Boucharb. A. 1999. R. de. Lisbon. 92. 108 106 Baião. Lisbon. A.. Paris.. 2002. The expulsion of the free Muslims from Portugal in December 1496 did not affect Muslim slaves and they continued to exist well into the modern era. Oliveira Ribas. Lisbon. pp.). Baquero Moreno (intro. Given the nature of the documents. 213-233 and idem. Mouriscos e cristãos no Portugal quinhentista: duas culturas e duas concepções religiosas em choque. M. in Viagens e viajantes no Atlântico quinhentista. Braga. 106 In addition to this.).) and H. M.

71-71v. 489-516 ISSN 0211-3589 . 86v. 8. fol. fol. Afonso V. fols. Afonso V. Chancelaria de D. livro 31. fol. Chancelaria de D. julio-diciembre 2007. Chancelaria de D. livro 24. Al-Qan÷ara (AQ) XXVIII 2. livro 10. 44v. Afonso V. livro 25. livro 35. Fernando. fols. livro 14. fol. Afonso V. 39v Chancelaria de D. fol. 97v. livro 1. 80v Chancelaria de D. Afonso V. Chancelaria de D. 66v. fol. pp. 6-6v. 17 April 1442 João Álvares Crown 13 July 1444 Álvaro da Silva Queen 7 December 1444 João Fernandes Prince Fernando 16 January 1445 Afonso Preto João dos Banhos and Catarina Afonso 17 May 1451 Margarida Portador Queen Mother 17 May 1454 F×÷ima (natural of Arzilla) Crown 10 January 1466 Muçammad (natural of Fez) André Gil (royal squire) 24 January 1466 Mùs× (natural of Fez) Álvaro Perez Cidreiro 109 This is not an exhaustive list of all references to Muslim freedmen. fol. Chancelaria de D. Afonso V. Chancelaria de D. Afonso V.514 FRANÇOIS SOYER Appendix Manumission Charters and Licences in the Torre do Tombo (1371-1495) 109 Date Slave Owner(s) Reference 10 April 1371 “Biaco” and F×÷ima Crown Chancelaria de D. livro 11. Afonso V. livro 24.

Afonso V. Chancelaria de D. 60. 153. Afonso V. Afonso V. fol. Afonso V.Chancelaria de co and Gonçalvez Ea. Chancelaria de D. 166. livro 33. Chancelaria de D. 213. fol. Chancelaria de D. 10 June 1469 Cana (Qamar / Qבim?) João de Beja ? ? 1470 Buzilayle (?) Rui Lopes de Vasconcelos 08 July 1471 ‘Abd al-Raçm×n Pero Vaz (royal squire) 20 November 1471 ‘¨’isha Mossem Coladro (Royal physician) 18 December 1471 ‘Umar (natural of Guinea) Beatriz Eanes 18 July 1472 ‘Alê (natural of «Jabal ·abêb») João de França 03 December 1472 ‘Alê (a carpenter) Rui Gomes 10 February 1473 Fernando Ibr×hêm (Mudéjar of Faro) 10 September 1473 Andela (‘Abd Allah?) Garcia de Meneses (Bishop of Porto) 20 June 1476 2 slaves named ‘Alê and Bakr Domingos Vaaz Ras. 39.MUSLIM SLAVES AND FREEDMEN IN MEDIEVAL PORTUGAL Date Slave Owner(s) Reference 515 15 March 1466 Sulaym×n (natural of Fez) João Gonçalvez Chancelaria de D. fol. Afonso V. livro 17. livro 14. Chancelaria de D. Chancelaria de D. livro 33. fol. 121. 217v. livro 29. 489-516 ISSN 0211-3589 . fol. 178. fol. Chancelaria de D. Afonso V. 111. 73. Chancelaria de D. nes Al-Qan÷ara (AQ) XXVIII 2. julio-diciembre 2007. livro 33. fol. livro 7. Afonso V. livro 30. fol. 61v. fol. livro 29. Afonso V. fol. fol. livro 16. Chancelaria de D. Afonso V. livro 33. Afonso V. pp. Afonso V.D.

João II. 102-102v. Afonso V. 103v. Afonso V. 33 110 Chancelaria de D.516 Date Slave FRANÇOIS SOYER Owner(s) Reference 25 September 1476 Muçammad João Lopes Chancelaria de (contador da infante) D. João II. Crown Chancelaria de D. Afonso V. livro 23. 489-516 ISSN 0211-3589 . fols. livro 26. fol. João II. fols. Chancelaria de D. Crown Chancelaria de D. livro 22. livro 2. fol. livro 22. fol. Chancelaria de D. julio-diciembre 2007. 79. fols. fol. João II. 7-7v. 74. 17 February 1491 João Recibido: 04/12/06 Aceptado: 07/06/07 110 This manumission was not carried out with a royal licence and was thus considered to be illegal. Chancelaria de D. livro 32. 21 January 1480 Muçammad 07 April 1481 Feyate (Fayy×d) Azulejo Crown 17 April 1481 Muçammad João Afonso 06 September 1482 ‘Alê Pero de Queiróz (knight of the royal household) Rui Gomes 20 November 1482 Muçammad 20 April 1484 Zahr×’ Fernão Patalim 06 September 1484 Yùsuf Álvarez (natural of Arzilla) Count of Atalaia 30 November 1484 ‘¨’isha Master Pedro Navarro Chancelaria de D. João II. livro 27. Chancelaria de D. João II. livro 3. 48v. fol. João II. fol. 109v. pp. fol. Al-Qan÷ara (AQ) XXVIII 2. livro 38. livro 9. 50-50v. 7 Chancelaria de D.